The End of the Monarchy of Sex

Theory, Culture and Society 25 (5):104-122 (2008)

Abstract
The hegemonic form of contemporary queer theory is dependent on a model of desire as autonomous and deregulated, derived from post-'68 French theory and particularly the work of Michel Foucault. Such a model is at risk of finding itself in congruence with a deregulated post-Fordist capitalism that recuperates supposedly dissident sexual identities. This article returns to the work of Foucault to identify a largely unacknowledged tendency in his work that contests the valorization of sexuality and calls for an `end of the monarchy of sex'. This possibility is linked to Foucault's controversial exploration of the concept of `spiritual politics' through his engagement with the Iranian revolution. Rather than regarding this as a regression into a reactionary religiosity, I argue that it forms an inquiry into new political possibilities of revolt. These possibilities contest what Alain Badiou has identified as the nihilism of contemporary capitalism, in which desire and sexuality are deployed to constrain the political imagination to a limited bodily `materialism'. Drawing on the work of the later Foucault, it becomes possible to develop this new politics around asceticism, which is not so much withdrawal from the world but the refusal of the mediations of identity through sexuality and the body
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0263276408095218
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,330
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Subject and Power.Michel Foucault - 1982 - Critical Inquiry 8 (4):777-795.
Beyond Formalisation an Interview.Alain Badiou - 2003 - Angelaki 8 (2):111 – 136.
Homos.Kevin Kopelson & Leo Bersani - 1996 - Substance 25 (1):120.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-02-02

Total views
12 ( #690,698 of 2,285,998 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #196,884 of 2,285,998 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature